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  • A week ago, the saddest thing happened

    For those of you who remember me, I've been away going to grooming school (Nash). I'd been in school for 5 weeks, and had been doing fairly well..

    When the first dog of the day is brought to me. He's a little poodle, and the instructor told me he "has congestive heart failure". I clip his nails (and feel bad because I quick a couple of them), pluck his ears, and get him into the bath. He was fine for his bath...

    Then I towel dry him and pull out the HV dryer. I took the condenser off the end so it wouldn't be too forceful, and while I was drying his back legs, he started breathing "weird".. and as I jumped over to the control on the dryer to turn it off, he started convulsing, barking, and fell over.

    I rushed him to the instructor, who attempted to revive him.. but it was too late

    His owner felt bad about bringing him in that morning..she said she knew he'd been acting "off" that morning.. so at least she didn't blame the salon (the dog was about 15 and had been going there his whole life).

    I groomed 2 more dogs that day, and a bunch more last week.. and I'm not still praying that every dog doesn't have a problem.. so things are ok for me.. but I guess I was wondering if anyone else had had the same thing happen? The owners at Nash said it's happened about 8 times over the last 30 years at their salon.. and they'd been able to save about 4 of them.. so it's still pretty rare there.

  • #2
    Fortunately, I have not had anything like that happen to me, but I know that there is always a chance it could. I highly recommend that all groomers get certified in Animal First Aid and CPR. I just recently took a refresher training myself.

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    • #3
      i truly feel for you, as that happened to me not long ago, the dog had a known heart condition, but was oked for grooming. we rushed him to my vet because hers was unavailable. it was too late. my vet was glad i was there when it happened, because she was an elderly woman who lives alone. that did not make me feel any better.
      Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
      "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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      • #4
        How heartbreaking. You are a very strong person. What a way to be indoctrinated. I haven't had anything like that happen yet, and honestly, I don't know how I would handle it. I'm glad that you were told, upfront, about the dog's health problem and that the owner took some responsibility (even though it was not her fault at all, either, because something like that can happen anytime).
        don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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        • #5
          That is sad. Don't feel bad (I know that is easy to say) but it could have happened when she was walking the dog into the shop, you just never know when they are that old and have a heart condition. Take Care.

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          • #6
            Been there, done that. It happens, unfortunately.

            Just this week we had a little old Yorkie in for boarding. He'd made a mess in his kennel and stomped in it, so the other groomer popped him into the tub to wash his feet. Then she wrapped him in a towel, and was standing next to the cabinet where we keep the towels when he sorta went limp. Then he released his bladder. He was breathing, but his color was very dusky. He didn't look good at all.

            The kennel owner called his owner, suggested we take him to the vet. Owner, who had just returned from vacation, said they'd pick him up and take him. I said he's not going to make it that long, he needs vet NOW! Boss lady agrees, tells owner we're running him to your vet, meet you there.

            The dog made it to the vets, but couldn't be saved. He'd ruptured a blood vessel in his lungs, and they were filling with blood.

            The vet did call and commend us for recognizing what was happening, taking the appropriate measures, and getting him in ASAP. It was just unfortunate that it was something that was not treatable.

            These situations sometimes happen. You do what you know how to do, get the pet to a vet, and keep reminding yourself that death is a part of life, and even the best vets are powerless to prevent the inevitable.

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            • #7
              so sorry to hear that - that must have been hard to watch. which nash are you attending? i was in nj and by the end of my session i knew all of the poodles - there were a few old guys. i wonder if i knew this poodle.

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              • #8
                So Sad

                Wow that is crazy!!! How sad, I know I lost a couple while working at the clinic that were very old. I never, however, had one pass on while I was working. Came in to work and found them. I can't imagine when I'm in the middle of a groom this happening. I know it is a part of life though and it will probably happen if you stay in this business long enough. So sorry this happened to you while you are still in school.


                Glad to see you are almost done with school and have started posting again. I'm on my last two courses and will be done in April. I"m sooooo ready to go to school. Post some grooming pics if you can I would love to see some before and afters while your in school!!!

                Lindsey

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                • #9
                  Sorry it has happened to you so soon into your new career. I have never had to deal with it yet but I expect I will have to sooner or later, since I groom a lot of elderly dogs.

                  Hope you're doing ok with this. Glad to hear you're doing well with school.
                  "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                  Diane

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                  • #10
                    I dread this happening! I try and get the old ones in and out as quickly & stress-free as possible! Some of them I wish the owners would just allow to stay home & stink. At 15/16+, unless they need clipping, I think some of them should just be allowed to stay home & get old.

                    However, I worked at a place where a young black lab dropped dead in his crate after bath. The groomer went to get him for nails & he was gone. The owner tried CPR and was unsuccessful. They took him into the vet anyway for necropsy & turns out the dog had a heart condition no one knew about. So it can happen with ANY dog we deal with, unfortunately.

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                    • #11
                      Like everyone else said, unfortunately it does happen, especially with elderly dogs. It's happened once with a cat since I've been at the shop I'm at. He was boarding, and just fell over when a girl was petting him. Congestive heart failure, I think.
                      With the poodle, it was nothing that you did. I know that it is still hard not to feel bad about it, but feel good about the fact that you did everything you possibly could. As soon as you noticed a change in him, you went to turn off the dryer. Just stick with your gut feeling and you will do fine.
                      Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by diemonster View Post
                        For those of you who remember me, I've been away going to grooming school (Nash). I'd been in school for 5 weeks, and had been doing fairly well..

                        When the first dog of the day is brought to me. He's a little poodle, and the instructor told me he "has congestive heart failure". I clip his nails (and feel bad because I quick a couple of them), pluck his ears, and get him into the bath. He was fine for his bath...

                        Then I towel dry him and pull out the HV dryer. I took the condenser off the end so it wouldn't be too forceful, and while I was drying his back legs, he started breathing "weird".. and as I jumped over to the control on the dryer to turn it off, he started convulsing, barking, and fell over.

                        I rushed him to the instructor, who attempted to revive him.. but it was too late

                        His owner felt bad about bringing him in that morning..she said she knew he'd been acting "off" that morning.. so at least she didn't blame the salon (the dog was about 15 and had been going there his whole life).

                        I groomed 2 more dogs that day, and a bunch more last week.. and I'm not still praying that every dog doesn't have a problem.. so things are ok for me.. but I guess I was wondering if anyone else had had the same thing happen? The owners at Nash said it's happened about 8 times over the last 30 years at their salon.. and they'd been able to save about 4 of them.. so it's still pretty rare there.
                        I had the same thing happen to me with a yorkie. 15 years old. although he survived. All I remember was the bather screaming, Laura help!! I got him to the vet in time. The owners never told us he had an enlarged heart, although we have them fill out a medical form. I have had several close calls. I have revived 2 dogs. I have never lost a dog in 25 years. I am sorry that you had to lose one while you are just starting out in grooming school. You should take a pet cpr course if your school does not offer one. I retake my pet cpr course every 2 years. You may never again need it, but you never know.

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                        • #13
                          Last September 2 of my older babies, different families, were boarding. They both had conjestive heart failure. Within 2 wks time they both passed on while in my care while boarding. I was lucky enough to be with them while they were passing. I held them and loved on them and spoke to them to the end. Of course, I was crying all the way through the ordeal.

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